Clock Works

As my 101 year old grandmother transitions between living situations, she found herself giving away some of her most carefully curated possessions.

At some point in the last forty-six years I (apparently, though unintentionally) impressed upon her that my (genuine) interest in her cuckoo clock, the same clock that hung on the wall of her house for most of my childhood, the same clock that my (late) grandfather would wind daily by pulling the chains down to the floor each night, the same clock that would fascinate us with it’s animations when we visited, that such a clock should end up on my wall some day.

That day was today.

I am feeling a little emotional and humbled, to be honest.

As my parents and relatives assisted with the job of packing up her room and sorting out what needs to move to the next place, my grandmother firmly asserted that the clock was to go to me.

So, suddenly there I was, with something of a family heirloom in a heap on my kitchen table after a short delivery visit by my folks.

As it turns out, my grandmother got tired of the tick-tocking and hourly cuckoos about fifteen years ago, so the beautiful beast has done little more than hung lifeless on her wall as a decoration for that whole time.

I hung it up, set it up, reset it all, and … the ticking doesn’t tock as well as it used to.

The pendulum ticks and tocks for a few seconds… or a few minutes… as long as eight minutes once, keeping accurate time for a fraction of an hour, but then tick-tock-tick… tick…. tick… silence.

I opened it up to see if there was something obviously wrong, but clock works are not my specialty (nor, if I’m being completely honest, a thing that I have anything other than a passing experience) in diagnosing or fixing.

So, for the moment, the family clock is hanging decoration-like on my wall looking sharp and elegant and like it belongs there. But thus starts an adventure to restore it to the glory of the 70s and 80s and those days I remember from my youth, and to bring back the ticks, tocks and maybe even a cuckoo or two.